tv CNN Newsroom CNN November 20, 2012 6:00am-8:00am PST
israel is not really complaining. >> interesting to watch. >> when they said president obama could not work with netanyahu, it's interesting to see them work on a peace deal. >> nice to have you with us, dana, as always. "newsroom" with carol costello begins right now. see you back here tomorrow morning. hey, carol. good morning. thank you so much for being with me. i'm carol costello. we begin with breaking news. a possible cease fire about to take hold in the israel/gaza conflict. the news comes from egypt's president, trying to broker a truce. minutes ago he declared that israel will soon halt its air strikes on gaza. along egypt's border with gaza, reza sayeh. tell us more. >> reporter: we don't want to jump to conclusions. we should be very cautious. there are growing signs from where we are standing in egypt that there could a closing in on
a truce or cease fire. latest sign is a statement made by egyptian president mohamed morsi, according to state tv. he said that, quote, israeli gra aggression would end on tuesday. that, of course, is today. that's consistent with similar statements we've heard from other officials late last night. we spoke with a senior egyptian official and he told us he's optimistic that in the next 24 hours there would be a cease fire. hamas officials are being even more specific. senior hamas official telling cnn that israel has agreed to the general terms but rejected the timing. hamas conditions, according to an official, are this. stop the air operation, air assaults and want the ground crossings, blockades to be opened up immediately. according to this hamas official israel is saying, okay, we'll stop the air operation but the ground crossings and blockade, we would like to do that gradually. that seems to be the sticking point right now. if you listen to egyptian and
hamas officials, some optimism. israeli officials in tel aviv seem to be more cautious when it comes to describing any kind of progress in these talks. >> the rhetoric still coming from egypt is interesting, to say the least. this is a statement from egypt's president. he referred to, quote, the travesty of israel's aggression. not exactly the words of a peace maker. what does that say about the fragility of this cease fire? >> reporter: well, i think we should look beyond rhetoric. what's happening in egypt is interesting. because the public is applying pressure on this post-revolution government led by mohamed morsi, a figure in the muslim brotherhood. they want them to take a tougher stance against the israeli government. this government came in, promising that tougher stance. at the same time, egypt has some critical alliances with the united states, with the western power. egypt is depending on these
governments to help them recover economically. there's all sorts of indications throughout this process, they do not want to jeopardize those alliances. that's why they've done their best, it looks like, to play the role of peace maker. at the same time, placate the arab world by making strong, sometimes fiery statements against the israeli operation. >> okay. we'll keep our fingers crossed. reza sayah, reporting live from the egyptian border this morning. u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton is heading to the region visiting israel, ramallah, egypt but not gaza. >> the bottom line still remains that hamas has to stop this rocket fire. so ultimately they're the ones who are going to have to be part of a solution that ends the type of terror israeli citizens have faced over so many months with this barrage of rockets coming into israeli territory.
>> lots of rhetoric flying out there. cnn's wolf blitzer hasn't been far from the violence. wolf, you were in a private home, talking to the family when the warning sirens went off. what happened next? >> reporter: well, i got to this house, carol. and the sirens had gone off. and there was a nice residential area, quiet area. when you get to the house all of a sudden you see the destruction. i spoke to the father, the mother, four kids. and they got about 30, 40 seconds, sirens went off. in almost every house in israel they have a safe rook room, which is really a concrete closet, if you will, that they can stay in there during shelling. fortunately they all went in there and survived. you wouldn't believe the house. we just got back and took, obviously, good pictures of what was going on. we interviewed the parents.
the house is basically destroyed. had they not been in the safe room they would all be dead. to see up close what's going on. within a few minutes we have gone to one of these command centers, emergency center where they deployed ambulances and we were in the command center. they let us in there to watch what's going on. all of a sudden there were what they call these red alerts, sirens going off, rockets coming in. within 10 to 15 minutes 11 additional rockets were detected coming toward beer sheva. and several of them were destroyed by the iron dome, this anti-missile system. several of them also landed. some caused serious casualties. they're determining now the extent. they let us get into one of t the -- it's a painful situation clearly on both sides and a lot
of folks, understandably, would like to he e this end once and for all. >> let's talk about that, wolf. obviously -- obviously, wolf, the violence is continuing in that region. egypt's president just came out and said there's word of a possible cease fire that may take place as early as today. does it seem like that's going to happen to you? >> reporter: you know, i'm driving now back to jerusalem. it's interesting. this is the second time one of these hamas missiles has actually reached the jerusalem area, which is about 75k i ilometers from gaza. longer-range missiles actually did reach jerusalem. fortunately it landed in an area outside of jerusalem, not far from the west bank in bethlehem. it didn't cause any damage but the alarms, sirens did go off in the israeli capital and caused a lot of panic, lot of concern.
missile landed in this area where there was apparently no damage. the shelling continues on both sides. there's a cease fire, that would be great. if they can work it out. i know the egyptians, the turks, ban kyi moon, u.n. secretary general, secretary hillary clinton, lot of people involved. it's still a 50/50 chance. israeli troops, armored units outside of gaza. they're waiting for a decision from the israeli government whether or not to go into gaza or not. if they go in, that would be obviously such a densely populated area, it would be a disaster for everyone concerned. but the israelis may decide to do it. my own sense is that they're close to a cease fire. let's see if they can achieve it. >> a word about hillary clinton. she will not be meeting with hamas. hamas is considered a terrorist
organizations by the united states. might that change with this conflict? >> reporter: it would only change if hamas meets the long-standing conditions that the u.s. and european union -- i spoke with tony blair yesterday, representative of the u.s., european, united nations and russia, it would only change if hamas met the long-standing conditions, which are recognizing israel and agreeing to end violence and accepting all the previously arranged agreements between the israelis and the palestinians. so if hamas were to accept those conditions, yes, i think the u.s. would go forth and end that boycott of hamas. it doesn't look like hamas is ready to accept those conditions, at least not yet. let's see what happens. it doesn't look like they're ready to do that any time soon. as a result, the u.s. will boycott hamas and won't have any direct talks with hamas and will still regard it as a state
department listed terrorist organization. >> wolf blitzer reporting live from beer sheva, israel, this morning. a man attacked a security guard at the u.s. embassy in tel aviv. the attacker was wielding an ax, but he also had a knife. the man now under arrest. president obama getting updates on the middle east aboard air force one, in the air, on his way back home, wrapping up his tour of asia hours ago with stops in thailand, myanmar and cambodia, where he attended the east asia summit and met with the outgoing chinese premiere just before leaving. they focused their meeting on trade issues and how the two powerful nations can work together. when also congratulated obama on his re-election. oil prices up on the middle east conflict. yes, oil prices are rising because of the middle east conflict. but will gas prices in the united states continue to fall? we'll check it out.
it is 12 minutes past the hour. we are continuing to follow that breaking news. possible cease fire about to take hold in the israel/gaza conflict. the news coming from egypt's president, trying to broker a truce. minutes ago, he declared that israel will soon hold its air strikes on gaza. with us now the governing body of gaza, hamas. the group's spokesperson joins us by phone. welcome. >> thank you. >> egypt is talking about a cease fire, but there's been no word from israel or hamas. how real is this? >> well, it's clear that there is an egyptian negotiation and worked on the issue the last 24 hours. and it's in the hands now of the israelis. i think the egyptians are waiting for some support, promised support from the united states in order to make an end
for that. so we expect to have an outcome of this issue today. >> do you think it's possible that the violence will stop by later today? >> well, i think it's possible to stop the attack against gaza. and i hope that will be a good lesson for the israeli government. it's not good to attack the palestinians, expecting that they will not react against the attack. >> if israel has agreed to stop firing rockets into gaza, will hamas do the same and agree to stop firing rockets into israel? >> well, from our side, we were clear. the head of policy of hamas has stated this clearly. there is an agreement, a cease
fire agreement and a clear conditions, we are ready to accept that. right now they are not accepting that. i think the israelis have done that. expecting the palestinians will take it without any response. now they want to go without paying the political price for that. it's not -- they have to pay the political price for this. otherwise if they continue their attack, maybe will lose his political future in the upcoming elections. >> let me put it this way. more than 100 of your citizens, including women and children, have been killed in this lating round of fighting. a top hamas leader taunted israel to begin a ground war, knowing if that happens so many gazans will die. some might say this is not the road to peace. what do you gain by talking so
tough? >> well, he said we don't want this operation but if they decide to do that, they will face the resistance. it's clear. we didn't want them initially to bomb gaza. but when they have done this, it was the reaction. in fact, they are targeting the city. this is a problem which no one is talking about. >> but mr. hamdan, isn't it time, with so many people dying, to soften the rhetoric, to find a road to peace? >> well, i think it's clear. the road for the peace is to accept the fact that israeli is -- palestinian and they have without any conditions.
palestinians, according to the international resolution has the right to live in peace on their own land, establishing their independence over a sovereign state. i think the clear point of the struggle, which is the occupation. we need to hear the clear voices from the international community, the united states saying there must be an end to the occupation and israelis cannot continue as occupiers anymore. >> mr. hamdan, the united states will not talk to hamas, will not negotiate with hamas until it accepts israel's right to exist. is hamas prepared to do that? >> well, i think the united states committed the biggest mistake in its history when they to talk to the palestinians who have the right to live in peace, who are the oppressed side of the -- >> the united states is talking to the palestinians, but is not
talking to hamas because hamas is not willing to recognize israel's right to exist. >> excuse me. excuse me. till now, till now, there is no clear american commitment towards the palestinian rights. till now there is no clear declaration that they consider the palestinian people as a nation who have to live in peace without occupation. i think the opposition will be changed and this will be the first step in creating the peace in the region. >> and i would just like to ask you one more time, do you ever foresee a time in the near future that hamas will recognize israel's right to exist? >> well, i think that th will not be a question for the palestinians to be asked under occupation. when they are oppressed. the answer will not be considered. you have to ask that for the government of the palestinian people. they have the right to answer
this question at that time. without this, our clear target is to liberate from the occupation so no one has to ask us to recognize the occupation. >> i just think that for much of the world, your answer is frustrating. because that means that conflicconflict s like this will continue to happen every few years or so and the people of gaza will be the people who suffer because, by some studies, by 2020, the gaza strip will be unlivable. >> well, i think the most frustrating thing for the palestinians is always talking about the israeli needs, about isra israel's security, about israel's existence without talking about the palestinian needs, the palestinian security, about the palestinian rights. the most powerful equipped army in the region. israeli is more powerful.
they are claiming at the same time that they are afraid of the palestinians. well, this is -- to be said all the time. you have to start talking about the oppressed people, under the occupation. i think the palestinians, after 20 years of the peace process without any outcome of this process, they are talking to themselves. there is no need to peace process. xloet failure for the peace process after 19 years of signing the agreement. this is the result of the wrong policies, the conflict in the region. i think it's the moment of trouth. you have to understand we have rights as palestinians and we need the international xhoucommy to recognize those rights.
without this, the palestinians are not ready to receive questions, answering them. we have been answering those questions for more than 40 years without any result. >> thank you for joining us this morning, hamas spokesman osama hamdan joining us on the phone from beirut. i'll talk live with the mayor of jerusalem. we'll be right back. onsider the- still the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road. and now we've also been recognized for lowest total cost of ownership -- based on important things, like depreciation, fuel, and maintenance costs. and now trade up to get a 2012 chevy silverado all-star edition with a total value of $9,000. from outstanding value to standing the test of time, chevy runs deep.
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welcome, sir. >> thank you. >> what are you hearing of this cease fire? >> well, it's hard to tell because rockets are leaving gaza and hitting innocent people in israel. and it's really frustrating to see how the hamas is using indiscriminate fire on civilians, schools and homes. the frustration is that they're not willing to recognize israel and their charter is to destroy israel. and, unfortunately, they're not talking about looking, seeking a solution. they're seeking how to upgrade their ability to destroy israel. and one must realize that when we're coming to negotiate with them on any term. >> if egypt has really brokered a cease fire, would you be happy about that in light of -- i just interviewed a hamas member who would not say that he would recognize israel's right to
exist. >> well, we know that. we know their charter is to destroy us. unfortunately, they don't share our values. our values are how to create a better world using technology, science, seeking relationships with the rest of the world. they're focusing on destruction, on killing, hurting innocent people. they even tried today to take a shot at jerusalem. god forbid. could you imagine what would happen if they hit the holy site in the city of jerusalem, the western wall, the mosque? of course, they would blame us for that. but the whole philosophy behind their thinking is how to create damage, how to destroy, how to, unfortunately, bring death versus life and inequality in the rest of the world. it's not a cease fire that leads to a solution. unfortunately for them it is what is the best way to damage
and hurt, and this has to be born when people come to our region and are looking for a solution. from the israeli perfespective,e have to manage this conflict in a smart way. it's not something that we can actually get an agreement with them. any agreement they make, whenever they feel comfortable, they will destroy the agreement. the agreements they have are all temporary and they have one goal, to destroy israel. we have to understand that. when there's a cease fire, they are not speaking -- >> mr. mayor, let me ask you this then. in seeking some resolution to this. obviously, the way israel is reacting to gaza and hamas isn't working. because the violence continues and the same problem is there. isn't it israel's responsibility, because it wants the right to exist and to protect its people, to find another way?
>> well, i come from the business world. when someone somebody comes to do a business world with me and tells me he wants to kick me out of the business, then the answer is no deal. it has to be clear when people want to destroy us, that's their charter and you found yourself when you spoke, unfortunately, to the speaker, they want to destroy us and use anything. they will tell you the truth, lie to you, commit suicide. of course, if they're willing to commit suicide, they're willing to lie. and, unfortunately, israel know knows unfortunately this is our neighbor. i believe they want to destroy us and, therefore, what we are doing is a surgery ical strike. our missiles have a way to pinpoint the people responsible. not indiscriminate fire. we have to focus on the evil people who want to destroy us and make sure that at any given moment we know how to manage the
situation with them. unfortunately, this is the middle east and this is our neighbors. >> mayor barkat, thank you very much for joining us this morning, the mayor of jerusalem. we'll take a quick break and be back with much more in the newsroom. oh no, not a migraine now. try this... bayer? this isn't just a headache. trust me, this is new bayer migraine. [ male announcer ] it's the power of aspirin plus more in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines. new bayer migraine formula.
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good morning to you. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining us. it's 30 minutes past the hour. here is what we're watching right now in the middle east. the egyptian president, the man you just saw, mohamed morsi, says israel will hold its aggression within hours. israel earlier said it was holding off on a ground offensive as secretary of state hillary clinton travels to the region to help broker a deal. an arab league delegation crossed into gaza from egypt to stricken areas.
beer sheva, casualties have been reported. let's go to gaza city. there's something going on there. as there has been for the past seven days now, right? anderson cooper is there. good morning, anderson. >> reporter: carol, how are you? actually, just a very disturbing sight. we just saw now a group of men on motorcycles driving down the main streets here in gaza city, dragging the body of a man behind them on a rope. clearly, he was dead. they were saying he was a spy for israel. this kind of thing happens from time to time. we saw this several days ago when a man was shot out in public. again, accused of being a spy for the state of israel. literally it's a group of about six or seven guys on motorcycles who just drove down the street yelling "god is great" dragging this man, whose legs were bound by a rope, his hands above his head and he was clearly dead, being dragged down the main street in gaza city. a sign, obviously, of how
volatile things are here. >> any more rocket fire today in gaza city? >> there have been outgoing rockets, as you know. because we also sue the -- they were fired toward jerusalem, air raid warning sirens in jerusalem as well. i believe it hit somewhere outside jerusalem and incoming as well, as many as five people have been killed here today alone. a number of explosions from incoming -- idf artillery or drone strikes or aircraft strikes. a couple off in that direction just recently. so the tit for tat, back and forth continues despite talk for cease fire and despite negotiati negotiations. rockets continue to be fired outward toward israel and strikes continue to be made
here. >> we heard word from egypt that some kind of cease fire has been reach reached. israel is talking a little bit about it. certainly not hamas. i was going to ask you, the feeling there, is it even possible that a cease fire is in the works? it's supposed to come to fruition later today. >> there's a lot of talk. i think people will believe it when they see t a cease fire of this immediate conflict, not a longer term resolution. obviously, that would be much more complex. but people here are waiting to see what happens. a lot of people are not really going outside, staying indoors, obviously, as they have the last several days, waiting, hoping for some sort of resolution is agreed to. >> anderson cooper, reporting live from gaza city this morning. we have continuing coverage in this conflict coming up in the next hour of "newsroom" i'll talk to the israeli defense forces. bake, and present. that must have taken you forever! it was really tough.
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insurance is far too high thaemplt going on strike to try to change all of that. color of change is working with walmart and community members in an effort to improve working conditions and wages for more than a million walmart employees. executive director of color of change.org. he joins me now. good morning. >> thanks for having me. >> we're glad you're here. what do you hope these strikes accomplish? >> i hope this strike actually helps to accomplish giving these workers more power at the workplace. and also being able to push walmart, who is an industry leader -- walmart has over 2.4 million employees, the next largest employer, which is target, has a little over 300,000 employees. they need to do better in treating their employees. full-time employee at walmart make about $15,000 a year sbchlt what these workers are asking for is what all of us want. the ability to earn a living wage, the ability to take care of their children. as walmart has raked in massive
profits over the last couple of years and the waltons, the family, the waltons, have more money than the bottom 42% of americans, they can do better for these workers. >> i'm just going to ask you a hard line question. i mean, i know we've just gotten out of a terrible recession. there aren't many jobs available. why risk your job doing this? not you specifically, but these workers that you're asking to strike. >> what we're fighting for is not just jobs here, but good jobs. walmart as an employer has more people on public assistance than any employer in this country. so, in fact, these workers are going to work every day and are not making enough money to make ends meet while the waltons, the family, have more money than the bottom 42% of americans. they have actually done very well through this recession. walmart has raked in massive profits while a number of other companies has suffered. as the economy increasingly goes to a service sector where
there's less and less manufactured jobs, we need to hold big companies like walmart accountable to not just rake in massive profits on the backs of everyday people but to provide them the types of jobs where they can earn a living and be able to buy christmas gifts for their family. all of us will be gathering with our families over the holidays. many people around the country. and we're going to be watching the stories like the christmas carol with the story of scrooge and bob cratchet. in the industrial age, workers had no power. we need to stand up for these employees and be able to hold walmart accountable. not just because these workers deserve the ability to earn a living, but because all of us are carrying the burden as the waltons are raking in more and more money, all of us are paying the cost as so many of their employees also have to go on public assistance. >> thank you so much for being here. we appreciate it.
>> thank you for having me. one of the groups leading the protest against walmart has put up a list of demands on its wep site. paid at least $13 an hour. right now they make $9 an hour. they want the company to make more workers full time. many of the workers of walmart are part time sbch. and it's working for more affordable health care coverage. vice president of communications, david tovar, joins me from arkansas, where the world's largest retailer is base based. good morning. >> good morning, carol. thanks for having me on. >> we're glad you're here. i believe rashad just called walmart a scrooge. >> unfortunately i think some of the things that he said aren't supported by the facts and i'm afraid he hasn't spent a lot of time looking at the data. i want to just correct one thing you said earlier. the majority of our workers are full time, not part time. and that's very unusual in the retail industry. in fact, we've got some of the best jobs in the retail
industry. our associates appreciate that. 250,000 associates have worked for us for more than 10 years. our turnover rate is lower than the retail industry average. three-quarters of our store management team started as hourly workers. we promoted 165,000 people last year. and, get this, 20% of the people we hired this year are rehires, meaning they worked for the company. they left and they came back because they realized they weren't getting a better deal somewhere else. so, like i said, facts just don't support what you are saying. >> the federal poverty level for a household of two is $15,130. listing an average salary for walmart employee at $15,130, just above the poverty line. walmart made a whole lot of m money last year, hundreds of billions of dollars. why not at least negotiate with them so that they can live a better middle class lifestyle?
>> well, first of all, you know, we can't negotiate with the unions right now because none of our associates are unionized. that's one of the things that we mentioned to the labor board last week when we timed a complaint against them. we've got great associates. we appreciate our associates. we know they're going to do a great job for us this holiday season. we wouldn't have been able to have the success we've had without our associates. and black friday is going to be so great. >> so many of your employees are coming out and saying the working conditions, especially in walmart's warehouses, aren't exactly pristine. no air conditioning in very warm climate climates. they say their health care costs could rise 34% next year and they just can't afford it on a $15,000 a year salary. are all of those employees just complaining? >> then again, carol -- yeah, i would tell you don't believe everything you read in a union press release.
there are not a large majority of associates speaking out. it's the same people unions put up every year and have been doing it for years. a lot of this is smoke and mirrors and is not having an impact. associates have said to us why aren't we speaking out more, which is why i'm doing shows like yours and others, to get our message out. we want our customers to know they can count on us for low prices and broad assortment on black friday, as they always have. >> let me ask you to address another charge out there. if workers complain, walmart retaliates against them. >> absolutely not. we have a very strict retaliation policy, anti-retaliation policy. if any associates have those concerns we want to hear about them and we'll take action if there's merit to it. again, the fact is that this is a very small contingent of associates propped up by the unions to make these kind of claims. the vast majority of our associates like working at walmart and like the
opportunities they get by working there and they're ready to serve our customers on black friday, period. >> just a last question for you. i've wondered about this. the wage gap in this country continues to grow ever wider. we hear from economists all the time, we need a strong middle class to make our overall economy stronger. is it walmart's responsibility to make sure that its employees can support a strong middle-class lifestyle? >> we're working hard every day to provide more opportunities for associates. go back to some of the things i said to you earlier about advancement within our company. >> if a lot of them are making $15,000 a year, you can't live a strong middle-class lifestyle on that. you just can't. >> all right. our jobs, like i said, are some of the best jobs in the retail industry. >> even the ones that make $15,000 a year? >> about $15,000 -- >> what's an average salary for a walmart employee then? >> our average wage is $12.40 for a full-time associate. we also offer comprehensive
benefits packages as low as $17 a pay period, which is very affordable. we also pay quarterly bonuses, which is something that not a lot of retailers do. just this past quarter, 82% of eligible associates receive d a bonus. they appreciate that. they also get a 10% discount card. you have to factor in all those things when we look at how we're helping associates. >> dave tovar from walmart, thanks so much for joining us this morning. >> thanks, carol. appreciate it. >> sure. concussions are a growing problem in the nfl. we'll ask hall of fame running back curtis martin what more the nfl can do to keep players safe. a hybrid? most are just no fun to drive. now, here's one that will make you feel alive. meet the five-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see? cause c-max has lots more horsepower than prius v,
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challenger patrick murphy two weeks after the election. on his facebook page west wrote i will not ask my generous supporters to help fund a a drawn out, expensive legal effort with little chance of success. a former trader who lost ubs more than $2 billion has been found guilty. he was convicted on two counts of fraud. and it could be a choppy day for stocks. investors are watching the middle east conflict and europe's debt problem. stocks are down about 50 points right now. people really love snapshot from progressive, but don't just listen to me. listen to these happy progressive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. with snapshot, i knew what i could save before i switched to progressive. the better i drive, the more i save.
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the bears have lost two straight games. michael vick missing the eagles game on sunday and that makes three nfl starting quarterbacks who missed their games this week because of concussions. vick and the bears jay cutler actually stayed in the games after their injuries last week. the nfl commissioner roger goodell says it's because of the, quote, warrior mentality football. he says it needs to change but, of course, he's been saying that for quite some time now. curtis martin is a hall of fame running back two played for the jets and patriots. welcome, curtis. >> welcome. thank you. i'm sorry. thank you. >> we're glad you're here. >> caught me off-guard. >> no worries. i'd really like to ask you about these concussions especially in light of three quarterbacks suffering concussions to the point they cannot play. surely you saw this in your playing days, but they weren't publicized. many we didn't realize so many concussions happened. >> well, you know something? unfortunately, football is a very violent sport, and
concussions are almost an inherent part of the nfl. any time you have bodies colliding and heads colliding at that force, you're going to have some. so i think the nfl, they're doing a good job on some of the precautionary type of rules or different regulations that they're implementing to try to protect the players because it's hard to protect the players in a situation -- in a dangerous situation and that's what the nfl is. >> well, you know, i was going to ask you, even with the nfl's added safety precautions, even though it's required that, you know, if a guy gets hit on the head, a guy gets checked out on the sideline. jay cutler came back and threw the ball and had double vision. it really doesn't stop players from playing. what needs to happen? >> you know something? in my opinion i think as players we have to become more responsible because, you know, we're putting a lot of the responsibility on these doctors and on team physicians and on
the nfl whereas i know for myself, when i had many -- all the concussions or the woozy moments in my career, just that warrior mentality that i think is damaging the players more so than anything, you know, i would tell my players to just pick me up an shake me until they could see my eyes, that i came back to, and i would go in the next play. but that's the warrior mentality that i think as players we have to approach the game with a different mentality and think about our long-term career as well as our life afterwards. >> i'm just glad you're okay today. >> yeah, me too. >> before i let you go, i want to ask you, i know you teamed up with xbox to try to get kids off the couch during thanksgiving break, to find childhood obesity. can you tell us what that's about? >> yeah. well, you know, there's a 60
million minute challenge that we're doing, and we're trying to get a million kids to participate in 60 minutes of activity on the xbox with kinnect. that's the goal. the childhood heobesity rate is skri rocketing in america. this is a way to not only have fun but be active and burn some of those calories while they're having fun. >> sounds good to me. curtis martin, thank you so much for being here with us this morning. >> thank you for having me. >> i loved your hall of fame speech. it was awesome. thanks so much. >> thank you. thank you. the next hour of cnn "newsroom" starts after a short break. twins. i didn't see them coming. i have obligations. cute obligations, but obligations. i need to rethink the core of my portfolio. what i really need is sleep. introducing the ishares core, building blocks for the heart of your portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock.
stories we're watching right now in the "newsroom," the countless rocket attacks and air strikes between israel and gaza. why a week of violence may be close to ending. america's chief diplomat is expected in the middle east within the hour. hillary clinton expected to meet with regional leaders beginning with israel. "newsroom" starts now.
good morning to you. thank you so much for being with us. i'm carol costello. the reality and the terror of living in a war zone. [ bleep ]. >> an israeli woman running for cover amid warnings of another incoming rocket. this hour though, optimism that the israel/gaza conflict could soon be over, at least temporarily. egypt's president, who has been trying to broker a peace deal, says israel will halt its attack at any time now, but his words don't exactly sound like a peacemaker. here is what mohamed morsi had to say earlier today. he said, quote, the travesty of the israeli aggression on gaza will end in a few hours. still, we hear there's word of a cease-fire. wolf blitzer was seeking shelter from gaza's rocket fire earlier this morning. we just lost wolf.
he was seeking shelter with a family in the southern area of israel about 30 miles from the gaza border. when wolf was inside that house, a shell landed on a house very nearby. as you might imagine, everybody panicked. wolf is okay. when we get wolf back on the phone, we'll bring his story to you live. police say a man attacked a security guard at the u.s. embassy in tel aviv. the guard was only slightly injured. according to the witnesses, the attacker was wielding an ax and he also had a knife. four los angeles area men have been charged in a plot to kill or capture american soldiers and to bomb public places. federal officials say the men were planning on going to afghanistan to train with al qaeda. one of the men was already there. two of them are u.s. citizens. the other two have permanent resident status. they've been detailing their plans to each other on facebook. president obama is wheels up in air force one on his way home from the far east. he wrapped up his three-country
swing in cambodia. he's the first u.s. president to make an official visit there. at the east asia summit he met with china's premier around talked about the economic ties between the two countries. >> as the two largest economies in the world we have a special responsibility to lead the way in ensuring sustained and balanced growth, not only here in asia but globally, and it is very important that as two of the largest economies in the world that we work to establish a clear rules of the road internationally for trade and investment which can increase prosperity and global growth. >> the president expected to arrive back at the white house late tonight. in the last hour of "newsroom" i had the chance to talk to a hamas spokesman on the phone. i asked him about the prospects for that cease-fire supposedly negotiated by egypt. egypt is talking about a cease-fire, but there's been no
word from israel or hamas. how real is this? >> well, it's clear that there is an egyptian delegation and their work on the issue for the last 24 hours and it's in the hands now of the israelis. i think the egyptians are waiting for some support from the united states in order to make an end for that. so we expect to have an outcome of this issue today. >> so do you think it's possible that the violence will stop by later today? >> well, i think it's possible to stop the israeli attack against gaza, and i hope that will be a good lesson for the israeli government. it's not good to attack the
palestinians expecting they will not react against the attack. >> if israel has agreed to stop firing rockets into gaza, will hamas do the same and agree to stop firing rockets into israel? >> well, from our side we are clear, the head of hamas has said this clearly. there's an agreement, a cease-fire agreement and clear conditions, we are ready to accept that, but the israelis are not accepting that. i think the israelis have done that -- i mean that attack against gaza. they are expecting the palestinians will take it without any response. now they want to go without the political enterprise for that. it's not ordinary to do that. so they have to pay the political price for this. otherwise if they continue the
attack maybe netanyahu loses political future in the upcoming elections. >> he was very critical of the role of the united states, too, saying it needed to take a hardline on israel, but the united states does consider hamas a terrorist organization and won't hope discussions with the group because hamas does not recognize israel's right to exist. it's been about 90 minutes or so since egypt's president made this claim of a cease-fire. what's your government telling you? >> well, currently we have no new orders. the operation is still ongoing as planned. in fact, today it was a bit slower day, but nevertheless more than 85 rockets were fired from gaza into israel, and we continued our targeting
different terrorist sites inside gaza. >> so israel supposedly has agreed to postpone a ground war if hamas stops firing into israel. so again since this news came out this morning, you say the rockets have kept coming. in your mind do you expect this word of a cease-fire is real? >> well, currently we are proceeding as planned. we are not aware of any signed cease-fire. therefore, we are continuing. as a matter of fact in the past hour we targeted more than a dozen different targets. some of them were people about to launch rockets into israel. on our side we're still continuing to defend this country. >> do you have any new casualties to report within israel? >> 88 rockets, many of them hit residential areas, buildings, playgrounds even, schools.
we have ten people that were wounded as a result of this heavy barrage today. >> yeah. because our wolf blitzer is in israel and he heard rocket fire there, he saw damage happening to buildings. can you give us an update on what happened in that area of israel? >> well, this is one of the biggest cities in southern israel, and, therefore, it's being often targeted. we're talking about a city of over 200,000 people. the last three or four days it is heavily bombarded. the people that live there have approximately 40 seconds to run into shelters. this is relatively a short time, especially when we're talking about families with kids, maybe elderly. many places were attacked in the town today including a supermarket, open roads, a few cars went on fire as the result of a direct hit, a public bus exploe exploded as the result of a
direct hit. it seemed like it was part of a war zone. >> just a final question about this possible cease-fire, if there is a cease-fire it most likely will be temporary. how long do you think it might last? >> ft. if one thing i learned in my job as a spokesperson, you cannot predict anything in the middle east. >> that's probably sadly true. thank you so much for being with us. avital is a spokeswoman for the israeli defense forces. all the debates and arguments over the national debt have paid off sort of. americans pitched in millions of their hard-earned dollars to help out the government. yes, it's true. we'll tell you exactly how much after this. start of the day. on the company phone list that's a few names longer. you see us bank on busier highways. on once empty fields. everyday you see all the ways all of us at us bank are helping grow our economy.
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why wait if you don't have to. sfx- "sounds of african drum and flute" look who's back. again? it's embarrassing it's embarrassing! we can see you carl. we can totally see you. come on you're better than this...all that prowling around. yeah, you're the king of the jungle. have you thought about going vegan carl?
hahaha!! you know folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to geico sure are happy. how happy are they jimmy? happier than antelope with night-vision goggles. nice! get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. this is cnn breaking news. >> yet more breaking news out of the middle east. the cnn team near the gaza/egypt border says a missile landed close to the rafah crossing, an area used to transport humanitarian supplies into gaza from egypt. reza sayah is there. reza, what did you see?
>> reporter: carol, it happened about 25 minutes ago. a huge explosion right across the rafah crossing where gaza is. i'd say about two to three miles from where we are standing. a huge blast. the ground shook. we saw a black flume of smoke going into the air. it's impossible for us to verify exactly what caused the explosion but we have been speaking to egyptian officials over the past couple days, and they say these explosions are being caused by israeli drones flying up above and they could be going after the underground tunnels at the rafah crossing. in listening up to in the sky, we are hearing what sounds like the buzz of drones. there's been a lot of talk about a possible cease-fire in the coming hours. this explosion a reminder that we don't have a cease-fire at this minute. >> i was just going to ask you that. all this talk about a cease-fire being negotiated by the egyptian president, it's late in the afternoon in israel. there's not much time left in the day.
>> reporter: yeah. the clock is ticking. throughout the day if you listen to egyptian officials, they were optimistic. they're convinced that today sometime there's going to be a cease-fire. the latest sign was a statement made by egyptian president mohamed morsi according to state tv in egypt. mohammed morsi saying, quote, h expects the israeli aggression to stop on tuesday, that's today. we called up his office, one of his staff members said, yes, he said that. and that's along the lines of what we heard since last night. a senior egyptian intelligence official telling us that they expect a cease-fire today. a hamas official has been more specific with us. hamas official suggesting that israel has actually agreed to general terms. hamas' conditions are for israel to stop the air assaults and open up the ground blockade immediately and simultaneously according to this hamas ohio
valley official, they have agreed to stop the air assaults but they balked at opening up the blockade. tel aviv is being more quiet and cautious about the possibility of reaching a cease-fire. >> reza sayah reporting live from the egyptian border. time to check top stories. new information shows it was the intelligence community and not the white house, state department, or justice department that changed those talking points delivered by the obama administration by susan rice. that's according to the spokesman for the national intelligence director. originally the attack that killed the u.s. ambassador to libya and three other americans was blamed on extremists before later being linked to terrorists. allen west now officially a lame duck congressman. actually he's not a congressman at all. two weeks after election day the first-term representative has
posted his concession on his facebook page. he had demanded recounts and said the vote tally was flawed but in the end he was around 20,000 votes short. democrat patrick murphy is the winner. the pace of new home construction rose to a four-year high. those are the best housing numbers since the housing bubble burst. the housing market has been showing numerous signs of recovery in recent months. demand for homes have been helped by mortgage rates at record lows. the end of the year may be closer than you think. google's popular mobile operating system left out the month of december. that means users can't add anything to calendars for the final month of the year. google is reportedly looking into the problem. in money news, the fight to fix our nation's economy could have unintended victims. an unintended victim rather. charities. charities and nonprofit tax breaks for donations could go
away. president obama wants to limit the amount of charity deductions for the wealthiest americans to 28%. [ male announcer ] considering all your mouth goes through, do you really think brushing is enough to keep it clean? while brushing misses germs in 75% of your mouth, listerine® cleans virtually your entire mouth. so take your oral health to a whole new level. listerine®... power to your mouth™. i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. it put me at ease that you could smoke on the first week. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression
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okay. so here is the good news. americans have given nearly $8 million of their own hard earned dollars to help cut the debt. the bad news, well, let's just say it's barely a drop in the bucket of a $1.1 trillion deficit the u.s. ran in the latest fiscal year alone. alison kosik joins me from the new york stock exchange. americans really didn't send their money directly into the government to help cut the debt. come on. >> i know. i had to do a double take with this, too. they really did. but here is the sad part. they had all that hard earned money but of any money they gave to the government, it's really not going to make a big difference. look, the government accumulated more than $1 trillion with a "t," $1 trillion in debt with year. the less than $8 million that people donated to the national debt to bring it down, that's
just a tiny, tiny fraction, but you know what, $8 million isn't jump change. until now people donated about $3 million a year. so there's a huge jump and it shows how big the fiscal cliff is and that people are actually paying attention. a chief economist at concord coalition says that people who donate are saying they can pay more in taxes so they're putting their money where their mouth is. carol? >> who are these people? >> there isn't one type just to keep in mind. it's not just the really rich or anything like that. i want to give you a little background. the government began accepting donations like this back in 1961. it began when an anonymous state left $20 million to the bureau of public debt. would you believe that the congress actually had to pass a law to legally accept the money. now, people have continued to dough that. there are estates, living taxpayers, even kids have donated. the bureau of public debt said one time they got a big bag of
coins from a classroom. in this debate about the fiscal cliff we often hear about the uber rich saying they can pay more in taxes. go ahead, warren buffett, you have said that too. i bet you can make a huge debt in the public debt, in the national debt. >> i didn't know that. i like to learn stuff. thank you. alison kosik. talks of a possible cease-fire, but for now still more air strikes and rocket attacks coming from israel and gaza. we're live on both sides of the border. we use this board to compare car insurance rates side by side so you get the same coverage, often for less. that's one smart board. what else does it do, reverse gravity? [ laughs ] [ laughs ] [ whooshing ] tell me about it. why am i not going anywhere? you don't believe hard enough. a smarter way to shop around. now that's progressive. call or click today. [ grunting ]
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such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. do not take celebrex if you've had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit celebrex.com and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. 24 minutes past the hour. president obama heading back to the united states after meeting earlier today with the chinese premier at the east asia summit in cambodia. this was the first high level meeting between the two countries since the re-election. cambodia was the final stop of
the president's asia trip. the president hopes to foster deeper political and economic ties in the region. allen west, the republican congressman running for re-election, conceded to democratic challenger patrick murphy this morning two weeks after the election. on his facebook page, west wrote, quote, i will not ask my generous supporters to help fund a drawn out, expensive legal effort with little chance of success. an explosion in indiana that killed two people is being investigated as a homicide. police are looking for information about a white van seen in the neighborhood just before the blast leveled several homes. the couple killed in the explosion were buried yesterday. we've been telling you about the possible of a cease-fire in the latest round of the israeli/hamas conflict but if that falls through, israel could fall back on plan b"b," a groun attack. chris lawrence looks at what a ground war would look like. >> reporter: if israel defense
forces invade gaza, they'd likely go under the cover of darkness. >> where they have an advantage on the battlefield through night vision quill aequipment and they to operate in the dark. >> reporter: but they would likely find hamas better armed than they were four years ago. >> better anti-tank weapons for sure and they might be more capable in inflicting damage on israeli forces. >> reporter: analyst jeff white says hamas' first line of defense will be a kilometer or two inside the border fence. they would try to draw them into kill zones. but the israelis beat that tactic with better intel four years ago and now have new capabilities. >> they've developed cameras that they can actually roll or put into a house that shows them what's going on inside the house. >> reporter: geography worked for and against hamas.
gaza is densely populated, difficult for israel to tight in without causing some civilian casualties. but gaza is also long and narrow, which is terrible when you're trying to defend it. artillery stationed in israel can reach all points of gaza because it's so narrow. israeli forces can move in from multiple entry points because it's so long. >> they can compartmentalize the fighting within gaza, isolate one hamas unit from another and operate it selectively against pieces of the gaza strip. >> reporter: a former israeli general says israel is running out of targets outside of population centers. while hamas leaders have holed up inside mosques or among civilians. a ground war could lead to a situation similar to 2009 when a u.n. report accused israel of committing war crimes in gaza.
>> and that is weighing on the minds of israeli policymakers now as they consider whether to go into gaza on the ground. >> reporter: and there's also the smaller risk of israeli casualties. if idf troops are kidnapped or killed, that could cause a domestic backlash against prime minister netanyahu, something he has to consider heading into an election. chris lawrence, cnn, the pentagon. >> so let's take a look at that map one more time. chris lawrence was talking about how israeli troops have a lot of entry points because of the shape of gaza. you see it there. but, remember, there's also the mediterranean coast. israeli ships have been firing on gaza from there already, but it could also be an entry point for a land invasion. egypt says israel will soon halt its air strikes in gaza, but for now people are still taking cover as sirens in jerusalem signal more rockets coming from the direction of gaza. israeli military officials say a rocket missed the city this morning, but it hit an open area
in a palestinian vage. in gaza, israeli air strikes have reduced some areas to rubble as negotiators are still trying to work out that truce. we have crews covering the conflict from both sides of the border. anderson cooper is in gaza city. good morning, anderson. >> reporter: good morning, carol. yeah, we've seen a number of strikes by israel over the course of today and a few rockets, actually two rockets we saw being launched, rather large ones, from gaza city probably within the last ten minutes or so. also within the last hour very disturbing scene i want to warn our viewers we will show you a picture of it, a still photo, very disturbing. men on motorcycles driving down a main street in gaza city dragging the body of a man who is tied to one of the motorcycles. the man was dead obviously. unclear if he was dead before he was dragged through the streets but they were dragging him through the streets yelling god is great and also saying that he'd been a collaborator for israel, a spy for israel. there's a lot of suspicion here
about people who may be working for israel sending out information about potential targets, but a very disturbing scene and one that really brings -- gives you a sense of the tenseness and the gravity of the situation here and the hard feelings on the ground here. >> can you give us a sense of the damage in gaza city? >> reporter: well, you know, everywhere you go you can find damage, you know, just looking out from where i am now, about four blocks away is the media center which we saw being hit twice, once on sunday by three rockets yesterday in which a member of islamic jihad was killed as well as one other person who was in the building. a few blocks away another building was hit. shortly after that blast, then later on yesterday a bank was hit just a few blocks away. so it's not too hard to find buildings that have been hit.
there's not, you know -- it's not indiscriminate and massive destruction like you would see in sarajevo where shells were being lobbed, mortars were being lobbed into the city indiscriminately. israel says they are targeting buildings but nevertheless as we all know civilians end up getting killed as well no matter how precise targeting is. civilians die in all these conflicts and we have seen a lot of that here in gaza city as well. so you definitely can very easily see signs of the destruction all around. >> more than 100 people have died in gaza and the gaza strip, many of them civilians. anderson cooper reporting live from gaza city. we want to take to you israel. fred pleitgen is covering the conflict on that side of the border. hi, fred. >> reporter: hi, carol. one of the interesting things that actually happened here is that, you know, anderson was just telling you about those two
rockets he saw fired out of the gaza strip. well, i'm sort of, if you will, on the receiving end of those rockets. i'm on the israeli side of the gaza border, and we actually saw those rockets take off, and they were intercepted by the iron dome missile defense system. if you recall we were talking yesterday and there was actually an iron dome interception live on one of our shows. well, that's the same thing we saw. there were actually not just those two rockets fired out of gaza, it was more like four or five, probably some fired out of other locations, but it seemed to us as though all of those rockets had been intercepted by the iron dome. i would say the past couple hours has been a lot more quiet than the past couple of days really. we saw some artillery sheming of the gaza strip by the israeli military. it was not really clear to us whether they were calibrating their weapons or whether they were actually taking anything under fire because one of the things we have to keep in mind is that the israelis do have a very large army pulled together here outside of gaza so they might have just been trying to calibrate their weapons and
firing into unpopulated areas. that seemed to us as that might have been the case. we're not exactly sure. nevertheless, there have been some hits also on israeli towns today. there was one big barrage of rockets and we're just getting word from the israeli defense force that is apparently throughout the day five of their soldiers were injured in rocket strikes. >> you mention the iron dome. it's israel's missile defense system. it's become sort of a symbol of safe harbor within israel. we were reading the jerusalem post this morning. it posted pictures of people, you know, going out to the iron dome and sitting there, some on bicycles, some people brought their children just to watch it at work. >> yeah. you're absolutely right. that's exactly what we saw. we are at the iron dome missile battery system i think it was yesterday or the day before and while we were shooting video out there, there were actually a lot of people coming by to see this thing in action, and certainly it is a machine that is very prominent here in this country
at this point it time because it's proven to be so effective in the conflict that's going on. it's picking off a lot of rockets. it's also especially picking off a lot of rocket that is would normally hit population centers. the israeli military says it believes as many as 90% of the rockets fired at population centers are picked off by this thing. however, one of the things that they're also warning is not to take false comfort in all of this. they say it's not a 100% solution that every time there is an air raid alarm, people still need to take it very seriously, go inside. we haven't seen them do anything different. certainly the people here take it very seriously, but the israeli military is warning them don't let down your guard. if a rocket comes, it still is very, very dangerous because it's never clear whether the iron dome is actually going to be able to pick it off. >> fred pleitgen reporting live from within israel this morning. thank you so much. the fight over the fiscal cliff in washington, it's heating up. president obama though is taking his argument to you. he's planning to hit the road looking for your support to get
this is cnn breaking news. >> we keep hearing word of a negotiated cease-fire but you can see the prime minister of israel benjamin netanyahu holding a press conference with the u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon. i must say netanyahu is not talking like there's a cease-fire. let's listen in live. >> israel will not hesitate to do what it necessary to defend our people. i look forward to our discussions today, and i hope we can advance a peaceful resolution. >> thank you, mr. prime minister. shalom, ladies and gentlemen. again, i'd like to thank the prime minister for welcoming me
to israel at this time. regrettably i'm back again in the region only nine months since my last visit because of violence in israel and gaza. it's again requiring our attention. not progressive towards a lasting peace and the two-state solution. the world is extremely concerned at the rising loss of human lives. further escalation will be dangerous and tragic for palestinians and israelis and would put the entire region at risk. i'm here to appeal to all to halt fire and restore peaccalm. rockets have hit areas just outside of tel aviv and jerusalem. israeli towns near gaza are
killing and injuring civilians. i myself visited these cities and met the many people, and i was able to -- myself how these people were living in the fear and terror. this is unacceptable, irresponsible, and reckless. i strongly condemn these actions. rocket attacks by palestinian militants targeting israel must cease immediately. i know how difficult the situation is here, but israel must exercise maximum restraint. i strongly caution against a ground operation which will only result in further tragedy. i have also stressed that while israeli rockets may be aimed at military targets inside gaza, they kill and injure civilians
and damage civilian infrastructures. the loss of civilian lives is unacceptable under any circumstances. the excessive use of force is unlawful and must be rejected, and i take note of your statement this military operations was aimed against only military facilities, but still in the course of military operations, the civilians are apt to be victimized, as we have seen. my paramount, immediate concern is for the safety and well-being of all civilians in israel and in gaza. innocent people, including children, are being killed and injured on both sides. i appeal to all to respect international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of
civilians at all times. i was here under similar circumstances in early 2009. in this extreme ll lly -- it is extremely painful for me to be back for the same reason. this new cycle of bloodshed will make neither israelis nor palestinians more secure nor will bloodshed open the door to negotiations that could achieve the two-state solution necessary to end such violence permanently. further escalation benefits no one. i and all my staff, including special coordinator robert surrey, will spare no effort to put an end to violence and provide humanitarian assistance to those in need. over the past week, mr. prime minister, i have spoken with many international leaders and regional leaders by telephone
and in person. i have come here directly interest cairo where i met with arab league secretary-general and egyptian prime minister earlier today. egypt is a leader in the region, and i was encouraged that the egyptian authorities are using their contacts on all sides to seek an immediate cease-fire. i have also met ministers since arriving in jerusalem. i will be meeting president perez after our meeting with you this evening and palestinian president abbas tomorrow morning. i'm here to offer my help and offices to end the violence and find a path back towards a peaceful resolution of the confct. the world is watching and waiting. we have not a moment to lose. again, i thank mr. prime
minister, i count on your strong leadership in working together with the united nations for peace and stability and human rights in this region. thank you. >> all right. we're going step away. you were just hearing from the u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon talking about -- calling for an end to this violence. he said civilian casualties are simply unacceptable and that israel and the palestinians have to work toward a two-party state. that's the only hope for lasting peace. he did not mention a specific peace deal coming out of egypt because as we told you earlier this morning, egypt claims there's a cease-fire in place and that israel will stop shooting rockets into gaza sometime today. we didn't hear any of that in that press conference. we'll listen more closely to it because we didn't hear all of it honestly and we'll maybe call up wolf blitzer so he can provide some perspective for you. we'll be right back. tion.
what's a newscast without talk of the fiscal cliff? after he was re-elected, president obama had one pledge to his supporters to get out of washington more often. in a conference call to donors, the president said he would be crossing the country working with supporters to find ways to avoid that so-called fiscal cliff. there is even a survey on barack obama.com asking supporters how they think they can help the president in his second term. joining me now cnn contributor and democratic strategist maria cardona and republican strategist ron bon. if you can't come to some sort of agreement with republicans, cross the country and have voters do it for you. is that sort of it, maria? >> i think there's something to that, carol. and i think that it could be a very powerful tool. let's not forget that the people that our leaders, our elected leaders especially in washington, listen to the most
are their own constituents, their own voters in their districts. so if there are obama supporters in the districts of the republican congressmen that president obama needs to convince in order to come to a balanced solution to the fiscal cliff, i think igniting and motivating and mobilizing his millions of supporters across the country is a pretty smart way of doing it. >> will it work, ron? >> well, you know, it's always a good idea for the president -- any president to be talking to voters. the question here is who should he be talking to. right now we don't have a deal yet in washington. we just were talking about the real very broad parameters of a framework. so the question is what would he say beyond what he has said before? i think more time needs to be spent in washington talking to lawmakers, especially members of his own -- especially democrats. i mean, they're not exactly signing up for entitlement reform right now. there are plenty of news
articles all over the place talking about the fact that they're not -- they are not signed up for social security and medicare reform just yet, and that's going to be a significant part of any deal. >> well, maria, i seem to remember in obama's last term, he often said, hey, it's up to you to get things done, meaning it's up to you, voters, to get things done. that didn't go over so well in his first term because republicans simply said, hey, mr. president, you're the leader here. >> well, i think that this time is a little bit different. there's no question that president obama needs to take leadership here, and i think that he can -- all of our leaders can walk and chew gum at the same time. he can have those very important conversations with the leadership here, the republican leadership here and i agree with ron, he needs to continue to do that, but he can also mobilize his own supporters and voters across the country to make sure that he is able to meet the mandate that came out of this election, and what mandate was that? to make sure that he comes to a
balanced solution with republican leaders, let's remember, on whatever fiscal cliff deal that we come up with. i mean, let's not forget that the majority of americans agree with the vision of this president that the wealthy should pay a little bit more and that middle class tax cuts should continue to be extended. >> okay. i want to pose that to ron because there was an article in "the new york times" this morning and it said some republicans are even caving in as far as the grover norquist pledge to never raise taxes ever, ever, ever as long as they live so help me god. and the article said that some republicans are kind of willing to talk about that now and throw the pledge by the wayside. >> well, you know what? i don't subscribe to that theory. until you actually see some type of fine print on the table. republicans, speaker boehner has stepped forward and offered a reasonable solution of raising revenue and entitlement reform as a way of preventing the fiscal cliff. and i think -- you know, we've heard the president now saying that he's willing to come down a
little bit on the rates. so right now we're in this interesting dance where we're all talking about how we'd like to have a compromise and what we're for. but what's going to be interesting is when we get into the fine print, how that's going to fall away and how the partisan lines likely will start to harden. i think that's why the president will likely go on the campaign trial to try to jostle loose, you know, some republicans but also some members of his own caucus who aren't going to move either. >> we'll find out in the next couple weeks. maria, ron bon jean, thank you so much for the interesting conversation. >> thank you, carol. health care and the boomer generation. so what are the top concerns? we've got the top five next. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year. so why exactly should that be of any interest to you? well, in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history.
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this week we're taking a special look at health issues facing baby boomers in our segment "age against the machine." cnn senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen takes us through the top five health concerns. >> number one, they're the generation that made marathons mainstream. weekend warriors racing and
jogging across finish lines at a rate not seen in their parents' day. but years of beating the pavement have led to injuries. orthopedics are calling it boomeritis, unusually high rates of tendinitis, tears, and fractures among baby boomers. doctors say the solution to to stretch, focus on flexibility. number two in baby boomer health, brain games. studies show games can help keep an aging 3450i7nd healthy. with rising rates of dementia and alz himer the generation that gave us pong isn't settling for bingo. they're seeking out new games on screens designed to promote memory and attention. number three is boomers in the bedroom. if you thought stds were just for 20 somethings, think then. rates of infection among boomers have doubled in the past ten years. some newly divorced boomers no
longer concerned about pregnancy aren't using condoms the way they should. the bottom line, this generation needs a refresher course on safe sex. number four made headlines this year. one in 30 baby boomers has hepatitis c. this generation alone accounts for three-fourths of all hepatitis c cases. many don't know it. untreated hepatitis c can cause liver cancer. the cdc says if you're a boomer, get tested. number five makes staying haley easier. whether it's getting tested for hepatitis or getting regular mammograms, boomers now get free preventative care under all health insurance plans. now it's up to them this use it. elizabeth cohen, cnn. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me today. cnn continues after a break with wolf blitzer.
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